Comedian Gilbert Gottfried‘s cause of death was “recurrent ventricular tachycardia,” his longtime publicist, Glenn Schwartz, tells In Touch.
The condition is “a type of abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. “It occurs when the lower chamber of the heart beats too fast to pump well and the body doesn’t receive enough oxygenated blood.”
The Aladdin actor, who had been diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy type II, died “at 2:35pm ET” on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in New York City, his rep adds.
Myotonic dystrophy type II is a “common multi-system disorder that affects the skeletal muscles,” “smooth muscles” and “cardiac muscles of the heart,” per Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Type II of the disorder is “characterized by an inability to relax muscles once they have contracted or ‘myotonia’ and muscle weakness,” according to the Myotonic Dystrophy Support Group. The group adds that the “most commonly presented symptoms” are “muscle weakness, stiffness and pain.”
“Gilbert passed away this afternoon,” Gottfried’s manager, Tommy Nichi, tells In Touch. “As an entertainer he was as close as you’ll find to a living legend. He was a bridge in stand-up comedy connecting six decades, from the 1970s through the 2020s.
“And as great as he was on stage and on screen, he was even greater at home with his wife and his kids where he was truly a beloved father and partner,” Tommy adds. “Gilbert was truly special and there will never be another one like him.”
The stand-up’s family announced his death earlier on Tuesday, writing in a statement shared to the late voiceover star’s social media accounts that the beloved comedian had passed.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” they wrote. “In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor. Love, the Gottfried family.”
Gottfried is survived by his wife, Dara Kravitz, and their two children, Lily Aster Gottfried and Max Aaron Gottfried.
Two months prior, Gottfried, who had recently played the Paradise Theater in Toronto on March 26, had mourned the loss of his fellow stand-up comic and good friend, Bob Saget, who died at the Ritz Carlton of Orlando, Florida, at the age 65 on January 9 from head trauma.
“Still in shock. I just spoke with Bob a few days ago. We stayed on the phone as usual making each other laugh. RIP to friend, comedian & fellow aristocrat Bob Saget,” he wrote on Twitter at the time of Saget’s death.
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